Inter took on Estudiantes this evening in a match that will not live long in the memories. Both goals were scored in the first half and if you stopped watching at halftime then you're very lucky.
Mancini sent out the exact same side that he started with against PSG, and his team took an early lead in the 5th minute. Rodrigo Palacio sent a pass across the face of goal and Yuto Nagatomo was at the other post to put the ball into the back of the net. The team played better than in the game against PSG, Nagatomo and Jonathan Biabiany were much more involved in attacking plays and linked up well with Palacio and Stevan Jovetic. It helped that Estudiantes spent the majority of the first half not really pressing. They also left themselves very open on the counter and Inter had a couple of good chances through Nagatomo, Jovetic, and Palacio that could have the Nerazzurri increase their lead in the first 45 minutes. That didn't happen though and in the 43rd minute Estudiantes hit back when Desabato headed home from a free kick.
There was one change at the start of the second half, Daniel Bessa came on for Geoffrey Kondogbia (who had picked up a knock towards the end of the first half). The second half was entirely forgettable. Any attacking drive that Inter had in the first half was gone in the second, and I think the only time the Estudiantes keeper warmed his gloves was catching a Nagatomo cross late in the half. Handanovic and Carrizo were a little more busy but there was nothing too serious, and the final 45 minutes drifted by aimlessly as substitutes came on for both sides with little to no impact.
I'm not going to try to breakdown performances from this game and I honestly couldn't analyze the second half if I truly wanted to, it was just that dull. Anyways, next up is Bayern Munich in Charlotte on Saturday (I will be there so if any of you are going to the game let me know). Now back to our regularly scheduled program, Roberto Mancini: Should I stay or should I go?